Western Locomotive Association

History of D1062 Western Courier

by Doug Tompkins


Crewe Works May 6th 1963


On entering service: Maroon with half-yellow warning panels, black-backed number and nameplates and black roof panels.

From 31/10/1968-May1977: Blue with full yellow ends, black-backed number and nameplates and blue roof panels.

From May 1977 to September 1991: Maroon with half-yellow warning panels, black-backed number and nameplates and black roof panels.

From September 1991: Maroon with full yellow warning panels, black-backed number and nameplates and black roof panels.

TBC to May 2017 Maroon with half-yellow warning panels, black-backed number and nameplates and black roof panels.

May 2017 to date Blue with full yellow warning ends, black-backed number and nameplates and blue roof panels.

Total Mileage

1,096,000 miles

Depot Allocations

May 1963-81A Old Oak Common

June 1963-88A Cardiff Canton

March 1964: 87E Landore

April 1966: 84A Laira

November 1968: 87E Landore

October 1971: 84A Laira

Notable Events

15th February 1964: First engine change at Laira. ‘A’ end engine no. 655 264 removed after 67,160 miles. No. 655 399 fitted.

16th June 1964: Received unscheduled repair at Swindon. Attention to ‘A’ and ‘B’ end bogies. 85,706 miles covered. Additional work found necessary. ‘A’ and ‘B’ engines changed to 655 280 and 655 179 respectively.

16th August 1964: Further unscheduled repair at Swindon: bad coolant leak. 101,820 miles covered.

1st September 1964: Transmission change at ‘A’ end: Bristol Bath Road.

13th October 1964: 3rd unscheduled repair at Swindon: suspected ‘B’ end inter-gearbox casing crack. 109,110 miles covered.

16th May 1968: Classified repair and dual air brake conversion at Swindon.

31st October 1968: Released back into traffic.

6th November 1970: Unscheduled repair to ‘B’ end bogie defect: Swindon.

D1062 and D1008 undergoing bogie repairs in Swindon Works.
Copyright: Stephen Taverner 2012.

17th June 1964: Last engine change in BR service at Laira.

26th July 1974: Last day in traffic on BR. Last service worked: Train 1B75 22.25 Paddington-Penzance as far as Plymouth.

23rd August 1974: officially withdrawn from stock.

Notable Events in preservation

4th November 1976: Purchased for “active” preservation by the ‘Western’ Locomotive Association.

13th November 1976: First working party arrived at Swindon to begin locomotive’s restoration to original livery of maroon with half-yellow warning panels.

29th April 1977: Both Maybach engines started up for the first time in preservation.

27th May 1977: Moved from Swindon to new home on the Torbay & Dartmouth Railway, hauled en route by 45 038, 47 035 and a Class 31.

31st July 1977: Powered the first official train in preservation: the 11-coach RPPR ‘Western Reunion” railtour from Paignton-Kingswear and return.

9th October 1977: Ran with D1013 Western Ranger on the WLA’s first ‘Western Day’ on the Torbay & Dartmouth Railway.

29th April 1978: Worked last train on the Torbay & Dartmouth Railway.

2nd August 1978: Left Paignton with D1013 Western Ranger for a new home on the Severn Valley Railway, via Newton Abbot and Cardiff Canton.

7th August 1978: Arrived at Cardiff Canton for tyre turning.

29th September 1978: Left Cardiff Canton for Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway, hauled by Class 37 no. 37 292.

31st March 1979: Operated with D1013 Western Ranger on the Severn Valley Railway’s first ‘Western Weekend’.

May 1980: Took part in the 150th anniversary of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway cavalcade at Rainhill.

9th July 1979: First official outing with newly installed Maybach MD655 engine acquired from Jersey. Hauled the annual ‘Obbo Tour’ between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster.

15th September 1991: Attended the Laira Depot Open Day at Plymouth with fellow classmates D1010, D1013, D1015 and D1023.

30th August 1992: Attended Bescot Depot Open Day.

October 1994: Attended West Somerset Railway’s Diesel Extravaganza. First trip on another railway since the move to the SVR in 1978. Her pairing with D1010 Western Campaigner was the first double-headed Class 52 train to be seen in the West Country since the final day of the type on BR: 26th February 1977.

11th October 1997: Dining Car Special run to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the locomotive’s purchase by the WLA.

December 1998: After a period languishing out of use at Kidderminster, the locomotive returns to Bridgnorth and work begins to bring her back to full working order.

May 2003: Celebrates her 40th birthday and although still out of traffic, both engines are fired up.

2004: Major rewiring completed.

Western Locomotive Association 50 Years

The WESTERN LOCOMOTIVE ASSOCIATION is a company limited by guarantee - Registered No: 3873466
Registered Address: 5, Prospect Place, Millennium Way, Pride Park, Derby, England DE24 8HG. Charity No. 1115058